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Where We Are will draw to a close with no fewer than four performances that are also set to become an exciting trip for the performers themselves. The curator Sachli Gholamalizad herself will get behind the microphone for a mesmerising vocal performance with the musicians Jan De Vroede and Filip Peeters, in a mix of English and Farsi. To music by Pablo Altar, the Iranian-Parisian queer performer Sorour Darabi will perform an equally poignant act based on a song from their recent performance Natural Drama: ‘My upper lip turns green but I'm still not grounded.’ The pop revelation Lafawndah will then trade London's Barbican and fashion labels such as Courrèges and Kenzo for a concert with Sébastien Forrester on live drums and electronics. But before you start thinking that Iranian diaspora art is the denominator that tonight's acts have in common, the South African writer-dramatist Kopano Maroga will provide a poetic counterpoint with ‘Jesus of Nazareth: Son of God by day; Power Bottom by night’ – a poem that elegantly resists any binary and visual categorisation. Pigeonholing is something we simply can't have.
Sachli Gholamalizad - music
After her studies in acting in Brussels (RITCS) and Paris (Jack Waltzer), Sachli Gholamalizad appeared in several films and TV series. Since 2013, she has also been producing stage creations of her own, which in many cases are inspired by universal themes such as family and multilingualism, and the tension that exists between autobiography and documentary, theatre and film. Her first solo show, A Reason To Talk, won several awards and toured venues at home and abroad in three languages. Later on, she worked at KVS and as an artist in residence at Vooruit in Ghent. At MoMu, Sachli Gholamalizad will give us a taste of the musical direction she now increasingly wants to take. She will be tastefully backed by amongst others the composer-producer Jan De Vroede, who also collaborated on her performance Let us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season. Can a concert also write a story?
Sorour Darabi – dance
The performance artist Sorour Darabi was involved in the underground Invisible Centre of Contemporary Dance (ICCD) in Iran, but after a time spent studying in Montpellier, has since been living and working in Paris. Their first solo performances Subject to change and Farci.e in France explored issues of time, climate and gender identity. And now, their latest creation, Natural Drama, will explore the fluidity of the human body as a being on the frontier of fiction and myth. Dressed in a simple tutu, Darabi will question the notion of ‘nature’ to imagine, on stage, a bodily utopia and futuristic mythology that seeks its roots in both preserved and erased dance stories. For MoMu, Darabi, together with the ambient and dream pop composer, Pablo Altar, will start off by performing one song from this Natural Drama, enriched with emotionally layered sound and choreography and new performance elements.
Lafawndah – music
Lafawndah has Egyptian, Iranian and English roots. She grew up in Paris and Tehran and lived in Mexico City and London, among other places. This made her a homo universalis of pop, with an unpredictable compositional style. Just a few months ago, her latest record ‘The Fifth Season’ was released. For the Barbican in London, she and the icon of ambient music, Midori Takada, created the stage performance Ceremonial Blue: the live rendition of the EP 'Le Renard Bleu'. She has also worked with Laure Prouvost for the Venice Biennale, with Jeff Mills for Courrèges and with other big names such as Kenzo and Vogue. During her performance at MoMu, she will make her debut as a live flautist, in a sober but comprehensive trip through her dynamic body of work, set against the pulsating backdrop of Sébastien Forrester's live drums and electronics.
Kopano Maroga – poetry
Kopano Maroga (South Africa) is a performance artist and writer and currently works from Brussels as a curator and dramaturge at Vooruit in Ghent. Their poetic debut ‘Jesus Thesis and Other Critical Fabulations’ was released by uHlanga Press in late 2020. The vision embodied by this collection is inspired by the thinking of the Nigerian feminist scholar Oyèrónkẹ́ Oyěwùmí, who argues that "the entire Western knowledge system bases its categories and hierarchies on binary distinctions: male and female, white and black, homosexual and heterosexual...” The author themselves strongly believes in the power of love as a “weapon of mass construction”. For MoMu, Kopano Maroga will perform one poem from the collection ‘Jesus of Nazareth: Son of God by day; Power Bottom by night’. And the word became image....